Legal Lasso: Colorado's Congressional Leaders Want Wilderness Protection

by Law Week

The latest episode of our HearSay podcast dropped yesterday. Our reporter Doug Chartier sat down with two attorneys to discuss the rise of “modern law”: What it is, why it can benefit both attorneys and clients, and some myths about the concept.

Colorado Congressional Leaders Push Legislation for Wilderness Protection
Rep. Diana DeGette introduced legislation Monday to protect 741,000 acres of land in Colorado from development as the state’s population grows. She’s been trying unsuccessfully since 1999 to get wilderness protection bills passed, but she said this year might be when the legislation succeeds. Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse and Sen. Michael Bennet also recently introduced legislation to protect more than 400,000 acres of land in the state.

Legislative Session Affected Nearly Every Phase of Criminal Justice System
We’re not done talking about the just-wrapped Colorado legislative session just yet. Criminal justice reform had a big year, with almost no phase of the processes following a person’s arrest left unaffected.

Polis Gets Policy Wins From First Legislative Session in Office
Gov. Jared Polis publicly waffled on whether he would support a few pieces of high-profile legislation if they’d landed on his desk, including a death penalty repeal and changes to the policy for allowing parents to opt their children out of vaccine requirements for school. But lawmakers did find money for free full-day kindergarten and passed several bills to lower health care costs, two of Polis’ key campaign platforms.

Lukewarm Denver Voter Turnout
Data collected from mail-in ballots by 5 p.m. Monday showed just under 20% voter turnout for Denver’s city elections. This report from Colorado Politics estimates final turnout could be the lowest in the city’s spring municipal elections since 2011.

Mesa County Considering Tax Ballot Measures
Mesa County needs to expand its detention center, and commissioners are mulling a few ballot measures that would allow the county to keep tax revenue collected in excess of the cap stipulated in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in order to help fund the expansion. The project is expected to cost about $20 million.

Asteroid Strike Lawsuits: Today’s News of the Weird
In case you need a break from political news, lawyers are actually spending time thinking about whether anyone could be held liable for the damage an asteroid smashing into Earth would cause. One legal expert says a key question is, what if one country unsuccessfully attempted to deflect an asteroid, and ended up causing it to smash into a neighboring country instead?

Ex-Federal Prosecutors Rebuke Trump’s Conduct
Hundreds of former federal prosecutors signed onto a statement saying President Donald Trump would face an obstruction of justice charge if he were not the sitting commander-in-chief. The prosecutors served across Republican and Democratic administrations, and their statement runs counter to the conclusion made by Attorney General William Barr about sufficient evidence to charge the president.

Lawsuit by LA City Attorney Against Tax Software Companies
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer sued tax-prep software companies Intuit and H&R Block alleging the companies are “actively undermining public access to the IRS’s ‘Free File’ program” by making free filing options for eligible taxpayers difficult to find and instead directing them toward paid software.

White House Refuses to Turn Over President’s Tax Returns
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the House Ways and Means Committee he will not grant access to several years of President Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns. He said the request by the committee “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose,” setting the stage for a likely legal fight.

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